Issue #7 July 2016
Detail from Dangling by Amy Casey

Kristen Bulger

The Lesser Portion

How it must have been for my mother
to have such a strange name and for no one to know
how to say it. She will only read this
after she is dead. The meat I pull from the bone is too much,
considered excess, considered the lesser loved portion
slicked across the kitchen counter.
One last carcass to go. A lack of delicacy
I could never master, her smoothness of hand which paints
the potted orchid in living white and violet silk. No,
I left my guts dangling from that fourth floor apartment,
cast my life from the window
into shards of terracotta, petal, and thin spider vines,
into the clouded blue clot of the chest—
A birth so near to a cough,
you insist on mouthing a blessing
and comparing how heavy its weight is to a basket of apples
you cannot all at once eat.